Football

It’s time to build on the momentum, says Shabbir

Celebration time: Hyderabad FC players are cock-a-hoop after their ISL triumph. 


Focus Sports/ ISL

Celebration time: Hyderabad FC players are cock-a-hoop after their ISL triumph.  Focus Sports/ ISL | Photo Credit: Focus Sports/ISL

Hyderabad FC clinching the Hero ISL trophy in Goa on Sunday has given the Hyderabad football fans something to cheer for, finally.

But, critics didn’t miss the fact that the winning team doesn’t have even one player from the city.

It’s no fault of the franchisee though, but it could be a reflection of the low the game has hit over the last three decades.

Support needed

“Yes, after five decades a team from Hyderabad won a national championship. It is time to build on this momentum as the young talent will look to the authorities concerned for the right kind of support,” said former India captain and Telangana State football coach Shabbir Ali.

Need to scout for talent

“We cannot blame any individual for this. But, again, the clubs and the Telangana Football Association have to make conscious efforts to scout for talent like how Sreenidhi FC is doing and ensure talented players get a platform to showcase their skills. TFFA and clubs cannot give jobs,” said TFA secretary G. Palguna. “Hence, the onus is on the corporates and the State government to at least ensure job security for the young performing footballers,” he said.

Ready to help

Former India skipper Victor Amalraj said the former internationals were always willing to help any move to promote the game. “And, the HFC win is a perfect reminder that we have to look far ahead,” he said.

For his part, Palguna felt the HFC triumph was a huge morale-booster and TFA was doing its best to keep the sport alive.

“We are organising leagues and also women’s tournaments. But we are struggling to get even Gymkhana ground to host them.

“But, again, for instance, G. Sowmya of Nizamabad, who is now a senior India player, was promised ₹5 lakh incentive by the State government seven years ago, but is yet to get it.

“The message has to be loud and clear that at least deserving footballers get their due,” he said.

“The top officials should take the initiative to do something to capitalise on the huge success story of HFC,” he concluded.


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Printable version | Aug 6, 2022 3:03:49 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/its-time-to-build-on-the-momentum-says-shabbir/article65245882.ece